Israel – Jan. 5th 2014 Good News Weekly

Israeli-flag     The highlights include:  An Israeli has invented a mobile app to help autistic children communicate.  Israel’s Shaare Zedek hospital delivered a record 20,000 babies last year.  Palestinian Arab workers rated Israel’s SodaStream better than any company in the Arab world. Israel is hosting a major International supercomputing conference.  An Israeli escape device can save high-rise residents in the event of a fire.  Another new route from low cost airline easyJet will connect Tel Aviv to Paris.  1500-year-old kosher wine presses have been discovered in Central Israel.

 

ISRAEL’S MEDICAL ACHIEVEMENTS
Shattering the silence of Autism.  Ola Mundo (“Hello World ” in Spanish) transmits instant messages using symbols for people whose speaking or writing ability is severely impaired. Israel’s Ophir Harel developed the world’s first and only symbolic communication app to help his 10-year-old autistic son.
Your car to the operating theater.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Being wheeled into an operating room is a stressful experience for everyone. The Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel has now decided to try and alleviate that anxiety among its youngest patients by pushing them in pedal cars.
Treating age-related macular degeneration.  Israel’s Cell Cure Neurosciences has been awarded a grant of NIS 6.1 million from the Office of the Chief Scientist.  The grant will help finance the human clinical trials in 2014 of OpRegen, a cell-based therapeutic product for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration.
Success in treating rheumatoid arthritis.  Israel’s Can-Fite BioPharma has announced positive results in its Phase IIb trial of their CF101 treatment for patients with active rheumatoid arthritis.
75 years of saving lives.  Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center received a $10 million birthday present from US entrepreneur Warren Buffet.
Israeli hospital delivered 20,000 babies in 2013.  20,000 babies were born at Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem during 2013 – the highest number ever in any Israeli hospital and almost unsurpassed in the world. 2014 will see more delivery rooms, a huge neonatal intensive care unit and new obstetrics wards.
Implant helps rehabilitation of shoulder injury.  (Thanks to Israel21c) Israel’s OrthoSpace has developed the InSpace Balloon. It alleviates pain for patients recovering from massive injury to the rotator cuff, a group of muscles and tendons that stabilize and activate the shoulder. 2000 people in Europe and Israel have used the implant invented by Israeli orthopedic surgeon Dr. Assaf Dekel.
ISRAEL IS INCLUSIVE AND GLOBAL
Druze MK praises Israeli equality.  Hamad Amar is a member of Israel’s Druze minority and Deputy Speaker of Knesset.  “I initiated an overhaul, repair and modernization of the sewage and water systems and the electricity grids in predominantly Arab areas in the north of the country, long ignored by others. This is what can happen if one chooses integration and contribution over ostracism and demonization,” he declared.
10 women start-up founders.  (Thanks to Size Doesn’t Matter) Israel is seeing a growing trend of strong female founders charging ahead to start their companies, bringing unique background as Product UX experts, software developers, researchers, marketing professionals, engineers and architects.
“This is the greatest company”.  Those were the words of one of SodaStream’s Palestinian Arab employees during a UK Zionist Federation visit of the Israeli company’s factory in Judea. Another employee’s remark was “”you wouldn’t get treated like this anywhere in the Arab world”.  (Thanks to Stuart Palmer)
Building peace from the ground up.  A positive outlook on how peace between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs might come about.  The new PA city of Rawabi will use Israeli wastewater treatment and grow JNF trees.  Technical innovation plus regional cooperation could bring a win-win outcome.
From Hebron to Holon.  Muath is a four-year-old Palestinian Arab boy from Hebron who was born with congenital heart disease. Two brothers previously died of the disease.  Now Muath is about to undergo critical surgery at Wolfson Medical Center thanks to Israel’s Save A Child’s Heart.
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
You know the score.  Israel’s Tonara iPad application displays electronic sheet music for each performer.  The new version can follow any number of notes played simultaneously on any number of different instruments, track the user’s current position in the score and turn the page at the right moment.
Just point, to switch on your oven.  PointSwitch, from Israel’s PointGrab is designed to control home appliances via pointing and gestures. The PointSwitch chip can detect gestures up to 15 feet away and under all lighting conditions. PointGrab is working with manufacturers to embed its chips in “smart” appliances.
Israel hosts supercomputing conference.  Tel Aviv is the venue for the PRACE (Partnership for Advanced Computing in Europe) Feb 2014 Winter School.  The event begins with a workshop on Israeli innovation in High Performance Computing. Delegates include from Turkey, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.
Israel’s rivers are flowing again.  Ha’aretz reports that the water flowing through Israel’s nature sites has increased tenfold over the past decade, and it’s expected to continue increasing due to new arrangements for supplying water to agriculture and the growing use of desalinated water.
Stay connected to your dog.  A team of Canadians and Israelis has invented the Pawly – an electronic robot that allows dog owners to see, hear, speak to and play with their pet, even when far away.  The team won the $20,000 grand prize in the Google-sponsored Global Startup Battle.
Preventing identity theft.  Israeli start-up MyEasyDocs is a system for checking that important documents (such as a college diploma) are genuine.  Schools and universities in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, law firms and organizations such as the United Nations, accept verified digital documents vetted by MyEasyDocs.
Hey, you’re leaking.  Israel’s Antileaks, is a device able to detect leaks in home plumbing systems and save up to 1 billion NIS per year.  Antileaks was built by Gal Oren and Neriah Staru – two Computer Science graduates of Jerusalem College of Technology.
Don’t jump – use Skysaver.  (Thanks to 12Tribe Films) If you live or work 25 floors up or (like me) just 3 floors up, the Israeli-developed Skysaver escape harness will allow you to evacuate safely from a building fire or other emergency.  No pre-installation – just put it on, clip the harness to a support and climb out the window.
Making Wikimedia more accessible.  80 IT experts attended an 11-hour “Hackathon” event in Tel Aviv to add value to the free content service that powers Wikipedia.  One app allows mobile phone users to add photos to wiki articles of nearby sites.  Another turns Wikipedia articles into instant Powerpoint presentations.
ECONOMY & BUSINESS
Free train service from Sderot.  Some good news for residents of Sderot – the town constantly targeted by Gaza terrorists.  Israel railways has started a new train service between Sderot and Tel Aviv.  The one-hour journey will be free to Sderot residents for 3 months.
Matchmakers bring Dutch and Israelis together.  “Matchmaking @ Netherlands-Israel Cooperation Forum 2013” was attended by Israel’s leading water, agriculture and oil & gas companies, including Delek, Nobel Energy, Amiad and Netafim. The Dutch included Wageningen University, and several Dutch water authorities.
Cutting oil use by 60%.  Israel plans to cut oil use in transportation by 60 percent by 2025 and will tap into its newfound natural gas deposits to make it happen.  It is also investing heavily to help start-ups developing battery and biofuel technologies, and is offering an annual $1 million prize to innovators in the field.
Now it’s “easy” from Paris to Tel Aviv.  There is no stopping UK low cost airline easyJet.  It has announced its 4th new route to Israel in as many weeks.  This summer you will be able to fly between Tel Aviv and Paris Charles de Gaulle on six flights per week.
Now we can all be entrepreneurs.  The new Adelson School of Entrepreneurship at the IDC Herzliya is set to change the status quo by providing pupils with the knowledge and tools to realize their entrepreneurial ideas and ambitions.  At the opening, Sheldon Adelson shared his views on how to become a successful entrepreneur.
CULTURE, ENTERTAINMENT & SPORT
Blogging about Art in Israel.  The Kinetis nonprofit educational organization hosted five international art bloggers with millions of avid readers, to help get the message out that Israel is made up of multiple layers that the world doesn’t always know about. The bloggers visited the country’s museums and met its top artists.
The Pixies will play Tel Aviv.  American post-punk group the Pixies will perform at Bloomfield Stadium on June 17 2014.  It makes amends for canceling their tour in 2010 following the Mavi Marmara incident.
Israeli in top iTunes list.  Idan Raichel’s latest album, ‘Quarter to Six,’ is included among Apple online store’s Best World Albums of 2013.  The Israeli musician, known for his Idan Raichel Project, previously went to the top of the iTunes World music sales chart in 2012 with his “The Tel Aviv Session” album.
Turn up the volume.  “Tel Aviv Volume” on Jan 15 – 18 is Israel’s first electronic music conference and festival. Daytime panels, lectures & workshops by leading local & international industry figures are supplemented by evenings featuring best artist lineups and bookings across all electronic sub genres.
THE JEWISH STATE
Israel – the Tiny Dynamo.  Marcella Rosen – author of “Tiny Dynamo, How One of the Smallest Countries Is Producing Some of Our Most Important Inventions” – was interviewed recently on CBS TV.
Israel displays Jewish heritage from Afghanistan.  Israel’s National Library is to debut ancient texts found in an Afghanistan genizah, or storage area for old Jewish texts. Some texts date back to 100CE and include writings from post-Talmudic Jewish leader Rabbi Saadiah Gaon.
Do you want to make an impact?  Why not study in English for an MA in Diplomacy at the IDC in Herzliya?
Wine from the Talmud.  Archaeologists conducting digs at a site in the city of Elad in central Israel, have discovered several ancient wine and olive presses that date back to the Talmudic period, some 1500 years ago.
Aliyah goes “up” in 2013.  (Thanks to Algemeiner) Aliyah (the Hebrew word for “ascending” and referring to immigration to Israel) increased in 2013. 19,200 “Olim” arrived in Israel in 2013, compared to 18,940 who arrived in 2012.  Much of the increase was due to a 63% rise in immigration from France.

Full Story (Good News From Israel: Israel’s Good News Newsletter to 5th Jan 2014)